Although amateur cycling events are being cancelled in droves all across the world to help stop the spread of coronavirus (that is a good thing) cyclists need not stop riding or training.
The safest and most popular option to continue riding is jumping on Zwift, or similar online services, in “self quarantine mode” – from the safety of your basement. Over 5000 Zwift riders were online Friday evening.
If you do not have online training capabilities or want to ride outdoors, then solo riding in a non-urban setting is a good way to minimize chances of catching or spreading coronavirus.
But what about group riding during the pandemic? Is it safe to join the typical Saturday Morning Throwdown, Wednesday Worlds or club ride?
To get expert advice, Gran Fondo Daily News reached out to USA Cycling’s SafeSport Director Dr. Kelsey Erickson PhD and Dr. Michael Roshon MD who is Chief of Medical Staff for Penrose Hospital in Colorado USA and is on their COVID-19 task force. He is also a Professional cycling team doctor, having worked with UHC Pro Cycling and Cannondale-Garmin.
Here are their COVID-19 group ride recommendations:
– Only join group rides when you know the other riders well and are confident they have no coronavirus symptoms.
– Make sure everyone on the group ride has not traveled recently to any geographic locations with widespread coronavirus infections.
– Verify that all group riders have not been exposed to anyone who might test positive for coronavirus.
In other words, if you read between the lines, group rides should be postponed or cancelled unless you are 100% sure the group is coronavirus risk free. So it is society’s and every rider’s best interest to stick with solo and online rides till the pandemic ends.
Dr. Roshon and Dr. Erickson have a COVID-19 video with more advice for athletes here. A follow up Question & Answer webinar is scheduled for Tuesday 17 March 11:00 MST.
Check the GFDN Worldwide Gran Fondo Calendar for the most accurate and up-to-date listings of current, cancelled and rescheduled events